I know what you are thinking. How did I actually end up watching Fifty Shades of Grey? Over a candlelight dinner with a cup of coffee and I eyeing one another like two long lost, no, I’m fucking with you. It didn’t happen in a theater. I didn’t pick it up at Redbox. It was on HBO, otherwise known as my not so secret lover. It premiered a short while back and it came on and I decided to stick with it. Having already made an indent on the sofa and not wanting to move or watch Taken 3’s ending again, I decided to partake in this sexy fantasy novel turned cinematic experience. What a waste of time.
Sam Taylor-Johnson tried to direct E.L. James first novel in a series of three. She really did. The book she was working from with screenwriter Kelly Marcel was crap. No mainstream Hollywood film was going to take the sexual leaps that the book did. I mean, come on. Jamie Dornan spanking Dakota Johnson with a whip or bending her over a piano isn’t what those two got down to in the book. It had to something steamier. I didn’t want to ask my wife about it. The script was elementary, pulling all the sharp edges from previous bad boy romance novels. It was bad bad. Dialogue came out of the teeth and slammed to the floor. Cringe worthy. Dornan and Johnson aren’t good enough actors or interesting enough people to make it up on the run or fool people into the idea that the movie isn’t really bad. She had been in bit roles and Dornan had been in very little. Sure, it doesn’t take Oscar worthy peeps but something more than this.
When the best part of the movie is a conversation between two fully clothed people about what butt plugs are, the film missed out. I found myself wanting more from this or expecting some far more erotic. Once again, Hollywood isn’t going to release a mainstream equivalent of Real Sex. Not happening. It was always going to be soft. I didn’t expect it to be this boring, soft and stupid.
Let’s get the facts out of the way. There’s a brief cock shot and a few glimpses of Johnson’s vagina crop, but that is it. She gets naked a lot(neither of their asses are noteworthy) but he remains clothed, much to the chagrin of the ladies. It’s not sexist to expect more from a novel series that extended millions of marriages across the world and replaced chocolate ice cream pints and big blankets for a week or two. If there isn’t acting going on, there better be some hot stinky horny sexy time happening. In the end, it was lame. Neither actor is good looking enough either. Johnson isn’t ugly but she isn’t hot either. Sorry.
There’s as much here for men as there is for women. Story steers its gears towards both sexes. Anastasia Steele is an innocent young woman looking for adventure and finds more than she bargained for in the rich wealthy and handsome bad boy prince Christian Grey. A contract is presented, some spanking happens, some sex, pancakes are made, more sex, a ride in a plane and some million mile stares. The funny thing is, Ana leads him on. He tells her early on that all he wants to do is strap, load, spank and reload, but she tries to change him. This could have been over the minute he showed her the red room, but no she said keep going. She gets spanked, teased and fucked but only when he really whips her does she figure out that this is how he gets off. It takes two hours for her to realize this. Really?
I also hate movies where a guy is so fucking rich yet we never see him do any actual business. There’s the loud phone call where a deal seems to go bad. There’s lots of paper signing. Lots of suits. Lots of end of days. No deals. When Richard Gere’s hot shot played the rich card in Pretty Woman, we got to see him work. And work with Jason Alexander no less Here, it’s just expensive suits, nice cars and leaving the office. Bullshit.
There will be more. Fifty Shades Darker and Freed come in the next three years. Dornan is excited. Johnson probably isn’t. I am not. Leave these things to the books. Let the women who read this horseshit fill in the blanks and details. They will make money. For the same reason Adam Sandler films still make money. People like trash of all kinds. After a long day at the office or wrestling with kids or co-workers, watching Ana get wooed by Christian into a lovely nut of asshole fisting and teasing nipple clamps has its rewards I guess.
Fifty Shades of Grey made 166 million(94 opening weekend) on a 40 million dollar budget. All they needed were hot cars, three suits, a penthouse, mansion and some aerial shots. The biggest action sequence was Johnson’s ass jiggling from the whip. There will be more and they will make lots of money.
Save me the argument that these movies exploit violent sex crimes. Please. Ladies and gents, the women who read these novels are doing worse things to themselves after they put the book down or their husband Harry is. Ana isn’t a victim. She likes it all until she doesn’t. It’s all voluntary. The only thing worse than this flick are the people hating it for the wrong reasons.
Hate it because it’s a terrible excuse for 125 minutes of your time. They should have just let Cinemax really step into it and do all the dirty scenes in depth. Hollywood took a half swing and foul tipped it into the catcher’s mitt. Weak. That’s all it is.
It’s better to just think of it as Batman romancing poor young Ana….